Some 400 rural women in eight communities in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the newly created Savannah Region have received training and livelihood empowerment to go into beekeeping business.
The one day training took place at Jilinkon on Saturday morning and afforded beneficiaries the opportunity to learn various techniques of beekeeping,including trapping of the bees into beehives,using protective clothing and harvesting of honey.
They were supported with beekeeping equipment after the training.
With full funding from Man & Nature in France,the three-years project is being facilitated by the Coalition for Development of Northern Ghana (NORTHCODE-Ghana),an NGO based in the Northern region.
The beneficiary communities are: Jilinkon,Soma,Jang,Wekora,Yoliyiri,Kodanyina number 1,Kodanyina number II and Yamuayiri;comprising 200 women and 100 men who are supposed to be supporting the women.
The project comes along with the construction of a Honey Processing Centre with an office complex and a warehouse were the pure honey would be extracted and processed for a ready market.
In an interview with Ghanawebs' Ananpansah B Abraham after the training,the Director of NorthCode-Ghana who doubles as Chairman of the Coalition of NGO's in Health in the Northern region,encouraged the women to receive the project with all their hearts in order to rip the full benefits.
He said they intend to teach the women how to fish instead of just giving them fish, adding that,they've got ready market for the women.
The French government he explained,is interested in helping communities which are around reserve areas to overpower their chains of poverty.
He said the idea of supporting these women in beekeeping was to help them generate income to add to their already existing stream of income,in order to keep them away from felling trees and converting them into charcoal to make money.
"The French government wants to help communities which are around reserve areas....The idea of supporting (women) in beekeeping is to support you to generate other income from beekeeping.Is because you don't have money,that's why you just go and cut a tree and convert into charcoal...It is not the fault of the women since,that is the only way she can get some money to feed the family.If you give that women something to do, she would not go and cut that tree... ,"he emphasized.
He disclosed that,the main emphasis of the donors' is to support,resource and train Community Resource Management Areas (CREMA) committee members to be active functional, and fully revamped.
CREMA committees he further stated,are to be given mobile phones among others to enhance their communication together with,NTFP to transplant in degraded lands in the rainy season.
He said they intend to ensure sustainable management and utilisation of natural resources,including approved farming practices,environmental protection,zero tolerance for bush burning and tree felling.
The Deputy Manager of Mole National Park,Mr.Festus Courage Agyayaw urged community members to take keen interest in the management of the Mole National Park and other protected areas.
He said when the park was developed,there was no much involvement of the fringe communities in its management and so,the community members didn't see the need and importance for the park.
Community members according to him,were largely denied access to the park with the fear that they would harm the animals.But with time,it was realised that the park cannot be managed without the assistance and involvement of the communities within which it is located.
He lamented the indiscriminate exploitation of our natural resources in the face of growing population, adding that, human beings have become endangered species in the midst of such activities.
He disclosed that,certain medicinal plants and animal species have disintegrated as a result of these unregulated activities.
Government he disclosed,has therefore,come out with a plan so that the communities,government,wildlife and forestry department can work together to promote sustainable exploitation of natural resources through the Collaborative Resource Management Policy.
He further stated that,in order to ensure protection of the park and sustainable resource management,the CREMA was formed to ensure community members use resources in a sustainable manner in the land that belongs to them and not in the park.
He appealed to members to allay fears that the government was going to use the CREMA to seize lands from the communities.
The assembly man for the area,Mr.Kasuga Philip thanked NorthCode-Ghana and the donors for blessing his electoral area with such a giant project.
He promised they were going to receive the project with full commitment and ensure the production of first class honey.
Among the equipment received are:140 beehives,bee stands,over 100 Wallington boots
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